I had the distinct privileged of being in the audience of the George Stroumboulopoulos show this week where David Suzuki was a guest. He has always been an idol of mine. Someone who has spoken his mind from an educated stance and whose passion oozes from every fibre of his being. Some people grow up wanting to be like Wayne Gretzky but not me...I wanted to be like David Suzuki. Imagine my surprise when only a few minutes into his interview David said 'Environmentalism has Failed'. That we haven't really gotten anywhere since the movement was born 50 years ago and that in some cases we have taken massive steps back. As he explained I found myself nodding in agreement. David talked about how environmentalism has been two extremes with us on one side and corporations and governments on the other. There has been very little middle ground and very little coming together to find a solution.
Source - Strombo
I'm not like other environmentalists and I have known this for a long time. I started out my career working in the environmental department of the worlds largest chemical company. Some people believed (and told me) I sold my soul when I accepted that job. I preferred to look at it as I was affecting change from within. I have never been an US vs THEM environmentalist (except with Monsanto...because they are beyond reason). I have never believed that the best way to improve the environment or reduce our impact is by ganging up on companies or people. We live in a world where some environmentalists are considered eco-terrorists taking extreme measures to make a point. We live in a world where environmentalists see things as black and white. There is no common ground because that would mean working with a company that perhaps isn't the greenest. Now I see it this as the golden opportunity. I don't want to get rid of all the big companies who currently don't have the greenest practices. I want environmentalists to help them to be better. I want environmentalist to share their expertise, their knowledge, their passion with these companies to make this world a better place.
I believe environmentalists should protest and stand up for ourselves and this planet. But I don't think this should be the only thing we do or even where we spend the bulk of our energy. I think we need to be smart about where we take the environmental movement over the next 50 years. We need to make it so the future David Suzuki's of the world don't utter to words 'Environmentalism has Failed'.
What do you think of David's comment? Have we failed those who started this movement?
I will link up to the episode when it is online and I will post the date when it will air on Facebook when I get it. Video can be seen here.
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